The state-coordinated flood clean-up program includes:
- free all-hazard structural assessments for affected residential properties and small businesses (commercial light) and make-safe works for structures on uninsured properties where make-safe works are recommended
- supporting local councils to collect flood debris and waste from kerbsides (nature strips)
Street debris removal
Local councils are responsible for the collection of flood debris and waste. You can contact your local council to find out about kerbside collection in your area.
What will be removed?
If your council has registered for assistance, waste and debris that will be removed includes:
- carpets, whitegoods, damaged fixtures and furniture and other household goods
- cooking equipment and business-related materials and goods
- liquids and rubbish material (bagged, boxed or contained)
- food and organic waste (contained)
Waste and debris that will not be removed includes:
- animal carcasses
- cars, boats, caravans and rainwater tanks over 2,000 litres
- known hazardous materials and carcinogens
What you need to do
You will need to:
- clear out your house or property
- separate eligible items
- leave them on your kerbsides (nature strips) ready for collection
Contractors and local councils will not enter houses to collect debris and waste.
In the highest impacted communities, ERV is working with Disaster Relief Australia to coordinate volunteers to help “muck-out” homes inundated with water.
By blocking the water flow, sandbags including both the bag and the sand can become contaminated with sewage, pathogens and chemicals from the floodwater.
Please call your council to find out about sandbag collection within your area.
Structural assessment for affected properties and businesses
Home-owners, small business owners (light commercial) and not-for profit property owners can register for an all-hazard structural assessment if eligible properties with structures have been damaged or destroyed by the floods.
An all-hazards structural assessment is an assessment undertaken by qualified contractors to understand the state of the structure, whether it is repairable or requires removal. This assessment can be used to identify any hazards such as asbestos, giving guidance as to how the structure needs to be managed.
Contractors will be wearing Emergency Recovery Victoria or Johns Lyng Group branded attire and the property owner can ask for photo ID.
You must be in a declared and eligible LGA.
Your property must be a residential property property (including a residential structure on a farm) or a commercial property of a small business. This includes caravans used for residential or small business purpose.
You must have damaged structures on your property.
People renting a property or caravan as a private residence can also register.
Structures will be assessed at no cost if the structure meets two of the three criteria:
- a building or object constructed from several parts
- a building or object that rests on deliberately placed foundations
- a building or object that is connected to 2 or more essential systems (e.g. mains water, electricity or solar including batteries, sewage or gas)
Once you have registered, ERV will contact you and process your registration and then book an assessment time.
The assessment process
Johns Lyng Group (JLG) are the appointed clean-up contractors. They will conduct the assessment, and provide a report to the structure’s owner, and to their local council. Where the assessment determines that demolition is required, regardless of whether the structure is insured, this can be coordinated with JLG. Where make-safe works are required and the structure is not insured, this can also be coordinated through the Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV) structural make-safe program.
Through the structural assessment program, the property owner receives an assessment report. Owners can then choose to opt-in for any further actions, such free demolition or make-safe works where eligible, but are not required to do so.
If your house is deemed repairable
Flood-affected structures that are uninsured and deemed repairable through the structural assessment are eligible for the Structural Make-Safe Program which will remove safety hazards (such as electrical dangers and asbestos) from uninsured flood- eligible structures.
The structural make-safe program supports hazard removal. It is not a general clean up, mucking out or removal of non-hazardous waste. Owners of insured properties should contact their insurer.
Structural make-safe works include removal of any immediate:
- hazard or risk preventing the structure from being safely occupied
- occupational, health and safety hazards or risks that may impinge on residents, workers, neighbours, or the environmental requirements of structural repair
Structural make-safe works do not include:
- removal of non-hazardous waste
- works or costs that are covered through other programs or funding sources, such as insurance
- legal costs
Hazards at flood damaged properties present immediate risks to the health and safety of homeowners and residents, emergency services agencies, volunteer groups and clean-up providers who may inadvertently expose themselves to unidentified hazards.
The structural make-safe program will ensure that hazards in uninsured structures are removed and will also reduce the likelihood of hazardous materials being dumped illegally or moving unsafely into the waste system.
Safety in cleaning out structures
Before returning to your property or cleaning out any structures consider hazards that may be present such as asbestos, an extremely hazardous material often present in building materials. ERV strongly encourages anybody affected by the current flooding event to register for an all-hazard structural assessment before commencing with the cleaning out of structures.
JLG is the lead contractor for the clean-up program in partnership with local councils. They coordinate the approach, supporting local trades and sub-contractors to complete work within the affected area. JLG was selected from the State Clean-up Panel.
They are required to take a local-first approach. For this program the workforce will be made up of more than 70% local trades.
ERV is also establishing trade hubs within affect regions to ensure local trades can continue to operate and support local economies.
Downloadable fact sheets
Clean up program
Reviewed 18 January 2023